But when I ask myself if they are potential HOFers, I am left with quite the conundrum.
Let's look at Colston's case first.
Over his career, he has amassed-
Record for most receptions within first 2 seasons (168)
63 TD's (378 points)
13.7 Yards Per Reception
Ed Block Courage Award
All-Time Leading Receiver of the Franchise.
What I think:
What he needs to do-
He has a shot, he definitely has a shot, but to keep that shot in sight, he needs to get to at least 2 or three Pro Bowls,
and perhaps 1 more ring ( which I think the Saints will get in 2014)
Can he get that done?
He can, but if he intends to do that with the Saints, it will be a race against time.
For this year, the Saints are obviously committed to him as the No.1 Receiver on the team, especially after they released Lance Moore.
But after this year, who knows?
The Saints are notorious for always finding gems in the Draft no matter how low, high, or how many Draft Picks they have. And with perhaps the deepest WR class this year compared to recent years, Colston could have some serious competition very soon.
Another problem for Colston, is that he has hit the 30-year wall, something EVERY coach notices. Over the course of 2014, Colston's performance will be under very serious watch by Sean Payton, and if Colston doesn't produce, by mid 2015 or 2016, the Saints most likely will commit to a new No.1 WR.
If Colston hasn't made it to 2 or more Pro Bowls, and still needs a ring, by 2016, (and still wants to) he may have to try his chances elsewhere (by that time, someone in the GM's office would have made a bone-headed idea to trade him for little return anyway). If he went to a team like the Raiders, who don't exactly have a good WR squad as of now, he may have more opportunities to rack up more statistics(although its obvious the raiders will be looking for WR's and a young QB in the Draft), to really put himself in the conversation for the HOF.
Another team where he could get the opportunity to bolster up his case, would be...as much as it pains me to say this... the Patriots.
The Patriots have a reputation for having mediocre WR's that are polished, and made to look good by their prolific passer of a QB, Tom Brady. If Colston was part of the Patriots receiving corps in the near future, no doubt, he would become Brady's favorite target, and with someone like Brady throwing at someone like Colston, Colston's stats would shoot up like a rocket.
So in conclusion, on Colston's part, the door is definitely open, in my opinion ... but he just has to keep the door open. Now will he? Knowing Quiet Storm, there is a very good chance he will.
Now onto the tough one...
Over the course of his career, Pierre Thomas has amassed:
7,983 All-Purpose Yards
37 Total Touchdowns (222 points)
4.6 YPC Career Average
7.9 YPR Career Average
1 SB Ring.
What I Think:
What he needs to do-
Obviously, PT is in no way a HOF candidate... as of now.
Could the 29 year old potentially put himself in the conversation in a few years? Yes, but quite a bit must be done.
-For starters, he needs a Pro Bowl, maybe 2.
-He also definitely needs another ring.
- It is an absolute MUST that he at least reaches, or surpasses the 10,000 All-Purpose yards mark.
Can he get it done?-
Can he get to the 10,000 yards mark? Yes, it is inevitable.
Can he get there within the next 2 or 3 years? Well, PT was resigned to a 2-year extension. Within those 2 years, PT will have to work harder than he ever has before. As someone mentioned in one of my previous FanPosts, due to the system that New Orleans runs, he will not get too many chances to do so. N.O. always prefers to use a tandem format for their RB position, and you can already tell that Sean Payton is itching to hand the reigns of the RB position to Khiry Ronbinson, and Mark Ingram Jr. PT will not get as many touches in N.O. as time goes on from here.
Can he get another ring? Myself, and many of the Saints fanbase believe that New Orleans is in a position to make it to the SuperBowl this year, especially considering that the Saints signed Byrd, and Champ Bailey. But if he doesn't get another ring, his stats had better make up for it.
Can he get to at least 2 Pro Bowls? I am leaning towards no. At least not while he is in New Orleans. With the tandem of Ingram and Robinson on the rise, PT may not get his time to shine. And chances are (although I absolutely loathe seeing rb's getting cut or traded from the Saints), he will be released or traded after 2014, especially with the Jimmy Graham situation, that always returns after every season. If PT wants an opportunity to fight for his case and make it to some Pro Bowls, he may have to seek fortune else where, on another team. Good running back's are becoming an endangered species in this day and age, with football turning into more of a passing game; if PT found his way to a team that wants to address their RB position with a stop-gap, or long-term option, like the Titans, Broncos (since they got rid of Moreno...dumba--es), or ARGUABLY the Patriots, chances are he would have the reigns of the RB position to himself, giving him more opportunities to shine.
But Pierre has also reached the 30 year wall, which is much more of a RB killer, than a WR killer.
Chances of any of this happening for Pierre? I really can't say, you can never know with this guy.
In the end-
Colston obviously has better opportunities to pull together a HOF career over the next few years than Pierre. I'd say about a 60-70% he has an arguable case for the HOF by the end of his career.
Pierre has a lot to do if he wants to get anywhere near the HOF discussion; I'd give him about a 50-67% chance.
But as a dedicated member of Dat Nation, I believe whole heartedly in these two, and am praying they get it done.
But what do you guys think?